The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear arguments today challenging the Biden administration’s emergency vaccination or testing rules for large employers — including all of Maryland’s counties.
Under emergency temporary standards (ETS) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in November, “large” employers are required to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations and/or testing for all staff. The ETS require employers with 100 or more employees — including all Maryland counties — to develop, implement and enforce a COVID-19 vaccination-or-testing policy.
The rules were set to go into effect earlier this week, but had been halted on November 6, when the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of a legal challenge to them.
Today, that case, and a second, specific to healthcare workers, are before the Supreme Court. The Washington Post reported on the hearing:
The Supreme Court on Friday will review two challenges to the administration’s vaccine policies affecting nearly 100 million workers. Most already have made the choice to be vaccinated, but Biden has said the numbers are not good enough.
One measure requires large private companies to implement a vaccination requirement or impose a masking and weekly testing regimen. The second applies to health-care workers at facilities that receive certain federal funding.
While it’s unclear when SCOTUS will rule on the issue, counties should be prepared for a scenario in which the ETS are upheld and they are obligated to institute a vaxx or test policy immediately.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for further coverage and SCOTUS’ pending decision.
- Conduit Street coverage:
- Read NACo’s blog on the ETS.
- Access NACo’s Employer COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate FAQ.
- Read OSHA’s summary of the COVID-19 vaccination Emergency Temporary Standards.
- Learn more about the White House’s COVID-19 Path Out of the Pandemic Plan.